Picture it: you are sitting enraptured in the latest big screen exploit of Batman, Harry Potter or Carrie Bradshaw when you see it, glaringly, out of the corner of your eye: a little blue square of light. Attached to that little blue square of light is a hunched-over figure rapidly keying in nonsensical drivel with ossified stumps that once were thumbs, obviously not watching -- or caring about -- what they paid a ticket price to see. Even worse, they are obliviously encroaching upon your enjoyment of what you paid a ticket price to see. Such is the newest cinematic annoyance rearing its ugly head in movie theaters everywhere: text messaging.
The widespread popularity of this yet-another-way to stay connected in this yet-ever-more-disconnected society we now live in baffles me. Wouldn't it be easier to just, you know, talk to each other? And who, really, seriously, needs to be that connected to every single person they know all the time?
As for those who text at the movies, can't they take a break from this high tech foolishness for the running time of your average movie, if not for their rapidly failing eyesight and arthritic fingers, then at least for the sake of their fellow filmgoers? Or has common courtesy gone the way of rotary phones and hand-written correspondence?
And it is not just in movie theaters either. As Playbill.com recently noted, it is happening in Broadway theaters as well. Moreover, with ticket prices on the Great White Way ten times (at least) as much as at your local multiplex, the question remains: what are these people thinking?
Hilariously, triumphantly, Playbill's own Seth Rudetsky recounts in his latest column how Patti LuPone -- Miss Patti LuPone, the Tony Award winning Broadway legend, supreme diva and star of the current revival of Gypsy -- refused to go on for the second act of the show unless the fingering philistine sitting in the front row (the front row!) who had been texting non-stop through the whole first act was ejected from the theater in shame. As Seth himself would say, "Brava, diva, brava!"
Text messaging is rapidly equaling the long-standing bane of any true movie fans' film going existence, the ringing cell phone. I remember the first time a cell phone rang while I was watching a movie (the jerk actually answered it ... and proceeded to have a conversation). The movie in question? Driving Miss Daisy ... in 1989. Yup, we have been putting up with one form of distracting, irritating, rude in-theater behavior for almost twenty years, and now we have to deal with another one?
In closing, I direct any and all offenders of this, or any other felonious phone faux pas, to take heed of the fact that July is "National Cell Phone Courtesy Month". So watch out: we're on to you and, like Miss Patti LuPone, we're not going to take it anymore.